Monday, 28 May 2012

Tool and Die

Sentencing for the Urewera Four was covered quite well by Robert Winter.  Tame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara have been sentenced to prison terms, sentencing for Urs Signer and Emily Bailey has been delayed.
There's something about firearms, and Mr Winter's post, that has me pondering the rights and wrongs of the situation.  I think it is this - if the Urewera Four had held licences for the firearms they possessed, the charges would have failed.  Utterly failed.
And then there is this:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
That's the famous Second Amendment to the Constitution of the USA, or as an ex-pat colleague of mine referred to it, tongue-in-cheek, the right to arm bears.
Setting out where I stand, which may reveal some hypocrisy - I own several firearms, including some of types that the media refer to as "high-powered" and "semi-automatic".  I also believe in the need for strong regulation of firearm ownership and its strict enforcement.  The lax approach taken to gun control in the USA is a festering  embarrassment and an ongoing and terrible waste of life
So, is it OK to do what the Urewera Four did?  Mr Winter asks the same question:
I ask my confreres this. Do we condone armed insurrection (or the armed play-acting thereof) by anyone in NZ?

He provides the binary answers you would expect - yes, and no.  I wonder if it is a more subtle issue than that. Could it be possible that a mature government would allow for the possibility of armed insurrection, as per the Second Amendment, and then take all reasonable steps to ensure the need for armed insurrection never arose through the implementation of fair and decent policy?


Consolidated - Play More Music, 1992

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